Getting over the Fear after a Highball Fall

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Messages 1 - 20 of total 92 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
bowshaaa

Boulder climber
Topic Author's Original Post - Feb 8, 2013 - 01:30pm PT
Mid year of 2012 I took a fall from a highball boulder and missed the pad and injured my ankle. The injury healed fast but my fear from the fall did not, I learned a lot of valuable lessons from the fall, which caused me to adjust my technique, training exercises, and fear control. Here is a video of the fall and blog link to the story:



http://bowshaaa.blogspot.com/2013/01/getting-over-fear-after-fall.html

I wanted to share this because I would like to hear others' stories or accounts of any fears or injuries (falls or tendon injuries, etc) due to climbing and what they did to overcome them. Thanks in advance for any responses!
Roxy

Trad climber
CA Central Coast
Feb 8, 2013 - 01:36pm PT

Check out the book, The Rock Warrior's Way.

A great read for developing mental coolness.




survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Feb 8, 2013 - 01:40pm PT
Yeah, definitely use better music and you'll fire that bitch!

weezy

climber
Feb 8, 2013 - 01:43pm PT
i love hiphop. if for no other reason than it pisses off old white people.
Brandon-

climber
The Granite State.
Feb 8, 2013 - 01:45pm PT
Really, it's as simple as mind over matter. I understand that it's cliche, but oh well.

I've bailed from 15-20 feet up and broken an ankle, a coule of times. The key is to just go back as soon as you're healthy and send it. Put it to bed.

Just breathe, focus, and ignore the pain potential. You'll be fine.
bowshaaa

Boulder climber
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 8, 2013 - 01:45pm PT
Yeah yeah i know, no one likes the music haha, i was limited with editing and music choice experience when I made this video, that was another lesson I have learned.

@roxy thanks for the suggestion!

bowshaaa

Boulder climber
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 8, 2013 - 01:46pm PT
@weezy agree hah!
bowshaaa

Boulder climber
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 8, 2013 - 01:48pm PT
@Brandon, yeah that's what I did but sometimes people have a harder time getting over falls when rock climbing. Do you still have fear when you climb, worry about breaking it again? Do you still climb high problems?
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Feb 8, 2013 - 01:50pm PT
I took about an eight-foot fall onto a padded landing in the gym about a year ago and severed my Achilles tendon as a result. I finally got permission to boulder again a couple of months ago, and it took me quite a while to be willing to fall two feet, so I understand the fear all too well. I'd taken a very scary head-first leader fall in spring of 1971, and it took me five or six months to get my leading confidence back.

All this means I appreciate this thread and your photo and link, because I've been there. Ultimately, though, I come back to something Chouinard wrote almost 50 years ago. Falls tend to build confidence [provided you're unhurt]. At my age, I need to be judicious about where and how far I fall (for example, I can't do highball boulder problems any more without risking serious injury), but I found taking a few shorter fall off of boulder problems helped me regain my bouldering confidence, and a few safe and well-protected leads got my leading confidence back.

Thanks again for the thread and your post.

John
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Feb 8, 2013 - 01:51pm PT
Was that hip hop? Or was it soul train trance electronica?

Sorry about your ankle bro. Heal up strong.
Brandon-

climber
The Granite State.
Feb 8, 2013 - 01:54pm PT
I don't let falls or injuries color my mind when I find myself in similar situations. That would be detrimental.

An acceptance of pain as normal helps.
ruppell

climber
Feb 8, 2013 - 01:59pm PT
John pretty much nails it. Lots of pads and lots of falls. Eventually you'll learn again that falling is usually safe. I broke my heel two years ago now and after it healed I went right back after it. It took a few weeks to trust my body, my spotters, and the pads. After those few weeks that trust was there again. Now highballs are like they used to be. Also learn to downclimb if your not feeling it. There's no shame in backing off.
Cosmiccragsman

Trad climber
AKA Dwain, from Apple Valley, Ca. and Vegas!
Feb 8, 2013 - 02:00pm PT
In 2000 I fell off a highball at airport rocks here in Apple Valley
and got 2 very bad compression fractures of my T7 and T8.
My back has never been the same and I still hurt all the time
from it.

I still climb, with rope, but I won't do any more bouldering
because of the chance of reinjuring my back and not being able to climb anymore. The Doc said, if I did take a fall bouldering and landed the wrong way with the way my back is, I could end up paralyzed.

I'm NOT going to take that chance!
Rudder

Trad climber
Costa Mesa, CA
Feb 8, 2013 - 02:00pm PT
The spotter was sure helpful. ;)
Chinchen

climber
Way out there....
Feb 8, 2013 - 02:01pm PT
My advice:
Quit being such a pussy.




;)

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=4485760747086&comment_id=56294820¬if_t=video_comment
Cosmiccragsman

Trad climber
AKA Dwain, from Apple Valley, Ca. and Vegas!
Feb 8, 2013 - 02:14pm PT
True, Ron, but the Ground isn't as Dynamic as a rope.
The Ground is more static.
Chinchen

climber
Way out there....
Feb 8, 2013 - 02:16pm PT
Breath, and focus. Thats what I do. Also don't imagine falling. And don't let go...
bowshaaa

Boulder climber
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 8, 2013 - 02:19pm PT
Great stories, glad to hear that people have adapted or found ways over it.

@Chinchen, I did get over the fear and still climb highball problems, but thanks for sharing that vid, looks like an awesome problem, would love to try it!
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Feb 8, 2013 - 02:25pm PT
To the OP:

I never climbed at the v9 level, high-ball, low-ball, no balls at all. Just to establish my (lack of) pedigree.

I've been hurt numerous times in bouldering falls, pre-pad mostly. I have never 'mastered' fear nor have I ever climbed 'fearlessly.' At my best I have managed to co-exist peacefully with it. Its there, its in me, and I compartmentalized it and did fine. Other times not as well.

A number of years ago I shattered my left ankle in a lead fall. It did not heal well and it was several years before I could physically risk another serious fall, as in 5 years or so. Five f*#king years. I risked it anyway but only on the easiest of leads.

But healing did come and the ankle did get stronger and I did start risking falls again, roped falls. Incurred them, survived them :-) and confidence built.

Got into better shape. Began to bear down again on routes, to pull harder, and risk longer falls. This past year I started (easy) bouldering again, and then (easy) highballs.

I think ole Clint Eastwood sums it up best for me, in The Unforgiven (perfect title, too)... when asked, 'then what?'

"Well, you live with it."

DMT
nature

climber
Boulder, CO
Feb 8, 2013 - 02:31pm PT
After three twisted ankles from falling off boulder problems (once while landing square on a pad) I load my pad and quit bouldering.
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